BREAKING: Trump Announces America's Withdrawal From The Paris Climate Agreement

Lou Cypher
Lou Cypher Members Posts: 52,521 ✭✭✭✭✭

It’s official: After months and months of waiting, of lunging back and forth from pro- to anti-, President Trump will take America out of the Paris agreement.

Walking out into the Rose Garden of the White House, the President told the world that “in order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.”

He claimed that the accord is a “bad deal,” one that is costing American jobs and will ultimately ? the US economy – something that is demonstrably untrue.

Trump said that he will look for a “better deal.”

“We will begin negotiations to re-enter the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction, on terms fair to the US – it’s businesses, workers, taxpayers,” he added. “So we’re getting out, but we’ll start to negotiate, to see if we can make a deal that’s fair. If we can that’s great, if we can’t that’s fine.”

The US will now join Syria and Nicaragua in a rather ignominious and exclusive club as the only nations that are not part of the global effort to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This decision goes against the will of the American people, 71 percent of which support the Paris agreement. It goes against the will of more than 800 colleges and universities, 1,000 American companies, and even traditionally fossil fuel-oriented giants, including ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP; it also goes against the will of 400 major American cities and 37 states.

Watching from the front row of the gathered crowd with a smile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt, the strongest anti-Paris voice in the administration, repeatedly applauded and patted the back of Reince Priebus, the White House Chief-of-Staff.

“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair to the United States. It is transferring coal jobs to foreign countries,” Trump added, reading from a script.

The President also claimed, without citing his source, that “even if the Paris agreement was implemented in full, it is estimated that it would implement two-tenths of a degree of temperature reduction by 2100.”

“This agreement is less about the climate and more countries gaining a financial advantage to the United States.”

His most breathtaking statement came just a few minutes into his speech. Shaking his head, he claimed that the rest of the world went wild when the Paris agreement was signed “because it placed America at a serious economic disadvantage,” a rather extraordinary claim by any measure.

Trump also claimed that the Green Energy fund – one designed to help developing nations make the transition to clean energy grids – was a fraudulent fund and one that America will no longer pay into.

The process of retraction is not immediate. Formal notice of withdrawal cannot be filed until November 2019, after which it will take a year longer before the US is officially removed from the Agreement – so it’s not clear at this point if all the legal strings will be untied in time for the next presidential election in 2020.

Either way, unless something major changes at the top tier of US politics, it’s almost certain that the Paris agreement will lose the participation of the world’s second-most prolific GHG emitter.

In the meantime, it’s likely that the US will continue to inform the UN how its GHG emissions are trending, as it is legally mandated to do so. It will not, however, directly attempt to cut its carbon footprint, nor will it keep up the donations to the UN designed to help poorer nations make the transition to a low-carbon energy infrastructure.

There will be no punitive measures or sanctions directed at the US for taking this path, but it’s likely that this will only exacerbate the recent bout of American isolationism that the Trump administration has single-handedly brought about. In particular, the European Union – collectively the third-most prolific GHG emitter – is likely to turn its back on the US even more so than it already has.